Two Graham Staffers Receive Grand Jury Subpoenas
Tuesday, September 29, 2009; 3:55 PM
Two staffers for D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) have been subpoenaed to appear next week before a federal grand jury investigating the city's taxicab industry.
David Vacca and Steve Hernandez, both of whom work for the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, are scheduled to appear before the grand jury Oct. 8. Hernandez, the committee clerk, and Vacca, a legislative analyst, have been ask to be prepared to talk about taxicab legislation.
Graham is chairman of the committee. Graham's chief of staff, Ted G. Loza, was arrested Thursday for allegedly accepting $1,500 in bribes to try to influence legislation that would have favored the taxicab industry.
Neither Vacca nor Hernandez nor Graham have been charged with wrongdoing. And when the FBI raided Graham's office last week, agents focused exclusively on Loza's workspace.
But the D.C. Republican Committee sent Graham a letter Tuesday asking that he take a leave of absence until the FBI concludes its investigation.
"All citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but District residents deserve a DC Council free of the appearance of corruption," said Robert J. Kabel, chairman of the DC Republican Committee.
Brian Debose, a Graham spokesman, said there is no reason for Graham to step aside because he does not appear to be a target of the investigation.
"There is no indication that the council member is in any way connected to the investigation, outside of the arrest of Mr. Loza," Debose said.